Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

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Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:53 am

Oil companies watch out. Biofuels are on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform the oil market. Not only that: it will also green the planet. In an exclusive interview with CleanTechnica.com and Energy Post, Darrin L. Morgan, Director Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Environmental Strategy at Boeing, reveals that researchers at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, funded by Boeing, Honeywell and Etihad Airways, may have achieved “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”. Alarmed by the poor quality of fuel made from shale oil and tar sands and frustrated by the blunt refusal of oil companies to provide fuel of better quality, Boeing and its partners have over the past four years sponsored research into alternative fuels that has led to spectacular results. They found that there is a class of plants that can grow in deserts on salt water and has superb biomass potential. “Nobody knew this”, says Morgan. “It is a huge discovery. A game-changer for the biofuels market.” Karel Beckman has the story.

We are sitting on a shaded patio in Masdar City – the famous sustainable living project in Abu Dhabi – with a small group of people and listening to what seems a truly sensational story. It is Wednesday 22 January, we are in the middle of Abu Dhabi’s Sustainability Week – Siemens is about to open its new Middle Eastern headquarters for 800 employees that same afternoon right next door in Masdar City – and Darrin Morgan of Boeing takes the opportunity to reveal to two journalists and a science writer a new development in biofuels which he is convinced will change the world. “The 20th Century saw Norman Borlaug’s Green revolution”, he says. “This is the next step after that.”

Morgan is not some green dreamer. He is Director of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Environmental Strategy at The Boeing Company in Seattle in the US. He has worked on Boeing’s biofuels program for 10 years. And he is convinced that researchers at the Masdar Institute, sponsored by Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP and Etihad Airways, have achieved a breakthrough in biofuels that will make it possible for countries all over the world to turn their deserts into biofuel-producing agricultural lands. We are on the verge, says the Boeing man, of a totally sustainable solution that does not require any arable land and that is going to replace a very big chunk of the oil currently used in transport.

But before we come to that, Morgan tells the story of how it got that far. A story that’s fascinating in itself as it reveals some troublesome facts about the existing oil market, increasingly based as it is on unconventional oils like tar sands and shale oil.

http://www.energypost.eu/exclusive-report-boeing-reveals-biggest-breakthrough-biofuels-ever/

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Re: Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Irn Bru on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:03 pm

This is how it works:



This is the plant produced:



And this is what it may be used for:
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Laughing

Seriously, with 98% of the planets waters being oceans and 20% of the planets surface being deserts it may be just the job.

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Re: Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:31 pm

Biofuels have a lower energy output than traditional fuels and therefore require greater quantities to be consumed in order to produce the same energy level.


And food shortage may become an issue with biofuel use.
Several studies have been conducted to analyze the carbon footprint of biofuels, and while they may be cleaner to burn, there are strong indications that the process to produce the fuel - including the machinery necessary to cultivate the crops and the plants to produce the fuel - has hefty carbon emissions.

It takes a lot of dosh to refine biofuels to more efficient energy outputs, and to build the necessary manufacturing plants to increase biofuel quantities, initial investment is often high.

As demand for food crops such as corn grows for biofuel production, it could also raise prices for necessary staple food crops.

There is concern that using valuable cropland to grow fuel crops could have an impact on the cost of food and could possibly lead to food shortages.

It takes massive quantities of water to irrigate biofuel crops as well as to manufacture the fuel, which could strain local and regional water resources.


I would love to see bio fuels replace aviation as well as motor vehicle fuel but there are a lots of refinements necessary to make it viable on a world wide scale.

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Re: Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Irn Bru on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:35 pm

But these plants can grow in the desert whereas traditional crops that come into the food supply chain don't.

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Re: Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:49 pm

Irn Bru wrote:But these plants can grow in the desert whereas traditional crops that come into the food supply chain don't.

That would be excellent & I'd love to see it work.But will it's production address the points that I made?

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Re: Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Ben Reilly on Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:40 pm

Remember, the diesel engine was originally engineered to run on biofuel, not petroleum derivatives -- Rudolf Diesel himself envisioned farmers being able to process the fuel to run their own tractors, trucks, etc.

As far as the cost of the infrastructure, I'm certain it costs a lot of money to extract oil too -- in fact, it costs more than ever, as all the easily accessed reservoirs are running out, forcing innovations like fracking, which is increasingly shown to be a dangerous practice. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/24/rachel-maddow-earthquake-rattled-texas-town-begs-state-to-shut-down-fracking-wells/



Or like deep-water drilling, which has gone so spectacularly for BP in recent years ...

I'd love to see someone run an estimate of how much CO2 the growing crops will sequester vs. how much these facilities will emit. It may not matter that much, however, as we're definitely running out of the finite fossil fuel reserves and something will need to replace it whether it's clean or not.

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Re: Exclusive report – Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”

Post by Beekeeper on Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:59 pm

Cool   NO PLANTS can grow in deserts over "the long term" without increasingly large amounts of fertilisers, and either soil conditioners or hydroponic mediums, being added into the growing systems...

WHICH inevitably makes the crops THREE TIMES more expensive to produce..  AS past trials on "desert farming" have proven.

YOU cannot expect to use the oceans via desal' plants on some unlimited basis, without even more unplanned and unbudgeted upsets to what is already grossly messed-up environments.    Suspect 

THEN there are also the increased problems of pest controls when plants are introduced into totally new environs ~ due to the total absence of any predator species for those pests that WILL inevitably follow the crops over/after their first few years..
cheers   WHAT will provide the biggest boosts to bio-fuel efforts such as these, WILL be when recycling efforts are perfected and streamlined and fine-tuned to such an extent, that the recycling of organic garbage dump wastes and cities 'waste water' runoffs can be utilised... 

THAT IN TURN, will both address some of the problems that Shady has highlighted, and at the same time 'sidestep' some of the problems that I pointed out with using "green field" sites..
ESPECIALLY the patently bad ideas of further abusing our oceans and deserts.   alien

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